Its humor draws from the homophonic similarity of a number of words in English — hu, he, me, ma, and dag are homophones of the Hebrew words for he, she, who, what, and fish respectively. Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! Abbott: Tomorrow. Abbott: That s it! Costello: Today. Costello: What are you askin me for? In British music halls, comedian Will Hayperformed a routine in the early 1930s (an… Abbott: Now, What's on second. Costello: Well, you know, I'd like to know some of the guys' names on the team so when I meet 'em on the street or in the ballpark I'll be able to say, "Hello," to those people. Costello: Naturally. You don't wanna tell me, today...tomorrow...do you? Abbott: Who is on first! Costello: Then who gets it? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it. Costello: I don't know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow—a triple play. Abbott: That's it. "What is the name of the town next to Which?" Abbott: Well I can't help that. Whos on first? The premise of the sketch is that Abbott is identifying the players on a baseball team for Costello, but their names and nicknames can be interpreted as non-responsive answers to Costello's questions. Costello: Oh I know they give those ball players awful funny names. Abbott: He's on third. by Abbott and Costello - on Baseball Almanac, An Abbott and Costello FAQ which mentions the game, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Who%27s_on_First%3F&oldid=991391078, United States National Recording Registry recordings, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from April 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A sketch from the episode "Password: Swordfish" in the, In 2002 playwright Jim Sherman wrote a variation called "Hu's on First" featuring, The biography of Lou Costello written by his daughter Chris is titled. Abbott: Yeah. "Who's on First?" Abbott: Who is on first. Costello: How does the fella's name on first base look to you when he signs his name? Abbott… Costello: You don't want to tell me today? This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 20:27. So I throw the ball to first base. Abbott: Whos on first. Abbott: How do you...how do you like my lawn club for St. Lou? In the Big Bang Theory season 4, episode 10 'The Alien Parasite Hypothesis', Sheldon and his girlfriend Amy, do a take-off on the 'Who's On First' routine, when Amy uses the word 'hoo' (a noise she made when she got aroused) and Sheldon mistakes it for 'who'. Feb 13, 2016 - Explore Anna Ziegler Haas's board "abbott & costello", followed by 177 people on Pinterest. Costello: I mean the fellow's name. Abbott: Tomorrow!? Now we're not talking about him. Abbott: Naturally. Costello: Who? Abbott: Sure. is descended from turn-of-the-century burlesque sketches that used plays on words and names. Abbott and Costello were an American comedy duo composed of comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, whose work on radio and in film and television made them the most popular comedy team of the 1940s and early 1950s and the highest-paid entertainers in the world during World War II. Costello: Naturally. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who? Abbott: Naturally. Who’s On First By Abbott and Costello ABBOTT: Well ostello, I’m going to New York with you. Abbott: What time what? Abbott: Who. The baseball-themed skit – in which Abbott, the straight man, portrays a manager and Costello serves as the excitable player – involves a confounding discussion, with rhythmic wordplay and precision timing, on the players’ names on a ballclub, with, among others, “Who” playing first base, “What” at second, and “I Don’t Know” on third. $17.98 $ 17. Abbott: Sure. Abbott's explanations leave Costello hopelessly confused and infuriated, until the end of the routine when Costello appears to parody Abbott by saying what appears to be gibberish to him, accidentally getting it right: Costello: Now I throw the ball to first base, whoever it is drops the ball, so the guy runs to second. You know, ucky Harris, the Yank’s manager gave me a job as coach for as long as you’re on the team. You throw it to Who! And Tomorrow's pitching. Costello: Look, you got a first baseman? Costello: What's his name? "Yes." Costello: What are you askin' me for? Abbott: Who's playin' first. Costello: Go ahead and tell me. Bucky Harris the Yankee's manager gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team. Abbott: Who! Costello: You got a catcher? Abbott: Yeah! Abbott: What is on second base. WHO'S ON FIRST? Costello: The guy on first. You know now, I'm a good catcher. The duo reprised the bit in their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties, and it is that longer version which is considered their finest recorded rendition. Abbott: Why sure I'll introduce you to the boys. Costello: What are you askin me for? Costello: The guy on first. Abbott: Who. Costello: You got a pitcher on this team? Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally. Costello: I said, I DON'T GIVE A DARN! Abbott & Costello in their heyday. Costello: I said I throw the ball to Naturally. Abbott: No. What was the powerhouse Saturday night lineup that baby boomers remember watching on CBS in the 1973-74 season? Costello: Well who's on first? In 1999, Time named the routine Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century.[7]. Costello: I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get the ball! A tall brown bear plays the coach (Abbott), a chubby white bunny plays the catcher (Costello), and they go back and forth about the oddly named members of their baseball team. Costello: I don't know. What's the guy's name that signs the receipt on first base? Costello: That's what I'm saying! [11] Furthermore, several 1996 obituaries of songwriter Irving Gordon mention that he had written the sketch. At one point in the routine, Costello thinks that the first baseman is named "Naturally": Abbott: You throw the ball to first base. Some examples include: Comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello, Derivatives and References in Popular Culture, On the recording, one can hear muffled laughter in the background coming from the, This claim is made by Glickman's son. Abbott: That's how it does. Abbott: Naturally. © 2020 METROLYRICS, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Costello: Well go ahead and tell me!? The court ruled against the heirs, saying that the use by the play was transformative fair use. Abbott: Who. Abbott: We all love baseball. William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello were vaudeville comedians who became famous in radio, film, and television as Abbott and Costello. 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